Two hard to get early recordings from one of the architects of the hard bop sound, and certainly one of the foremost alto saxophonists of the 50s and 60s. Fat Jazz is a classic pre-Blue Note
recording by McLean – one of the few recordings to feature his sextet with Ray Draper! Draper was a real legend in late 50s jazz – a tuba player, believe it or not, with a sound that was dark, brooding, and very modern – very unlike you'd expect from the instrument. The album has the same rich quality as the session Draper recorded with Coltrane in the same period – and it also features 2 of his amazing compositions, "Filide" and "Two Sons". The rest of the group is made up of Webster Young on cornet, Gil Coggins on piano, and George Tucker on bass and Larry Ritchie on drums – and the two other numbers featured are "Millie's Pad" and "What Good Am I Without You". The second set is a really hard one to find, on the tiny Ad Lib label, one of Jackie McLean's earliest dates as a leader. He's working with a quintet that includes Donald Byrd, Doug Watkins, Mal Waldron, and Ron Tucker. The feel here is similar to McLean's albums for Prestige at the same time – a mixture of bop and some of the modernist themes that often surfaced in McLean's work, played in a seductively laidback manner, but with a razor-sharp intensity overall. There's 4 numbers here too: "Mood Malody", "Lover Man", "Blue
Doll", "The Way You Look Tonight". Please note
that neither of these sets feature all of the tunes issued on the original LP's.
(Cover has some wear.)